Town Starting Work on Faciliating Fans' Return
Friday, 17th Jul 2020 18:10
Town are taking the first steps towards facilitating the return of fans to Portman Road.
Earlier today, prime minister Boris Johnson said he hoped some supporters will be able to attend games from October providing the right safety measures are in place.
The Blues, along with other clubs, have been sent an 84-page document by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) outlining what would be required for fans to be admitted.
The return will be staged with it possible that numbers initially may be even more limited than previous reports suggesting stadia could be 25 per cent or one-third full.
Currently, Town have a little under 9,000 season ticket holders with Portman Road's capacity these days just short of 30,000. It may be that only a percentage of those season ticket holders will be allowed to attend in the early stages.
Previously reported proposals aimed at making grounds safer for fans are only one in three seats being filled, a ban on away support, toilets being closed at half-time and refreshments - potentially including alcoholic drinks - being brought to fans in their seats to avoid numbers congregating on concourses.
“We are just beginning to get an idea of what will be needed for us to have supporters back at Portman Road,” club secretary Stuart Hayton told the official site.
“We will be working closely with the police and our other safety advisors to implement what is needed at the stadium on matchday.
“It’s going to present challenges for us all - the club and supporters - and unless circumstances change rapidly in the country with the coronavirus, it looks certain to be a phased return of supporters.
“Obviously we will led by Government advice on that but the most important aspect from our point of view is that, yes, we want as many fans as possible back at Portman Road watching football matches, but the health and welfare of our supporters - and our staff - will always be our main priority.”
The Blues squad are set to return to training at Playford Road - also under a strict safety regime - on Tuesday but with the season’s start date still to be confirmed, although September 12th appears likely as things stand.
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